We know it’s not a surprise when we tell you that the bench press is the premier exercise for your chest. It’s clear because of the sheer number of benefits that go along with it. Trust us, from building strength to adding size. There are a number of reasons to include this in your routine. The standing barbell curl is probably the best thing to come along for biceps since the open car window.
Triceps exercises is a harder muscle to train for because it falls towards the end of most workouts. But from the 10th pick to the first. There was a debate in our email chains on which movement makes it easier and where it should be done. With the triceps made up of three heads, there’s a lot to take into account when it comes to rehabilitation. The lateral mound, long tendon, and medial head need specific attention so that they can function at their best. These muscles attach individually in the shoulder area but share a common tendon at the elbow. The Lateral Head attaches to your Numerus.
That’s because weights put pressure on different parts of the neck and head. For example, movements with your arms above your head might be more likely to make the long neck tense. When a muscle stretches, it contracts more forcefully. The lateral head activates when your arms are at your sides and your palms face the ground. While the medial head kicks in when your arms are at your side and you turn up one palm. In order to find the top triceps exercises, we have to take into account a variety of factors. While this is an unenviable task, it pays off in the long run.
Here is a list of my favorite triceps exercises. You can do them in most gyms. They use a mix of cables, machines, free weights, and two bodyweight exercises that are popular but not widely used. We can guarantee one thing: Every move on this list can help you build bigger, stronger, and more prominent triceps.
Reverse-Grip Cable Pressdown
As discussed in the introduction, an underhand grip where the palms are facing upward activates the medial head of the triceps. It is made clear that an overhand exercise cannot be considered a true triceps workout. That’s because the reverse pressdown, unlike others, offers resistance throughout the entire range of motion. In this way, it can even be used for a warm-up, causing your muscles and joints to gently shake before moving into a more intense workout.
Main Area Targeted Medial Head
Strengths It might not be the most impressive weightlifting exercise ever. But form is extremely important in order to target the tiniest of the three triceps heads. Going too heavy will cause you to use momentum and shortcut your form for some extra help from other muscle groups. People usually recommend using free weights to work out the muscle in your arm. However, a machine is much more convenient and effective. Cable press downs are a great choice in terms of safety and comfort, which often put the wrist under strain in awkward positions.
How-To Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, in front of a high-pulley cable anchored at hip height. Take a handlebar attachment in a palms-up (supinated) grip and bring your elbows close to your body with the upper arms staying parallel to the floor. Lean forward slightly with the hips dependent’s, Extend your elbows forcefully to push the bar toward your upper thighs at the bottom of the range of motion. Hold for one count before returning to the point where your arms are parallel to the floor.
Machine Triceps Extension
The equipment for the typical machine triceps extension comes in a few different configurations. The basic setup includes an upper-arm pad that’s horizontal and another that’s angled like a preacher bench. All come from the same general playbook. However, pitting your triceps against a pin-selector weight stack, with a few advantages of mechanical design on your side. May help you handle a touch more weight than you could on a free-weight alternative.
Main Areas Targeted Long and lateral heads
Strengths As with all machines, there are inevitably some strengths and weaknesses. The biggest strength of the Smith Machine is that it creates a controlled environment and limits the range of motion. Although this can feel restrictive, it does provide peace of mind for those who may be nervous about weight-lifting or injury. This could be great, but only if it is implemented correctly.
Firstly, it is important that the movement is a natural one that beginners can pick up easily on. Secondly, this type of workout should be a good complement to heavier movements as they are less intense, so professionals won’t have any trouble completing their routine. who are looking for a change of pace or a solid finisher with which they can practice without worrying that fatigue will compromise their form.
How-To Adjust the seat so your upper arms rest flush on the pad (whether angled or flat). Grasp the handles — you can often experiment with various grips, including hammer style — and push them forward slightly to separate the stack. Contract your tri’s to achieve full elbow extension, holding the endpoint for a one-count before returning to the start. Don’t let the weight stack touch down between reps. Don’t be afraid to go heavy here. One of the greatest advantages of machine work is that you can use more weight without the use of a spotter. With some machines, you can also train one side at a time, spotting yourself with your non-working hand.
Overhead Cable Triceps Extension
Cable-based pressdowns show up three times on this list and for a good reason. Besides the fact that they offer a range of grips, the cable machine incorporates continuous tension. which makes it super versatile. One thing that sets it apart from free weights is stability, which is because working muscles are always under pressure. One way to do overhead extensions is by using a rope. But there are also different options to pick from, such as a straight bar, cambered bar, or doing them with only one arm using a D-handle.
Main Area Targeted Long head
Strengths Stretching your triceps in a certain way will put your long head of the triceps into a stretched position. Add this to the continuous tension from the cable and these two factors alone can produce some big gains. It becomes a formidable muscle builder. as well as being a viable alternative to another popular free-weighting product on this list. This way you can mix things up every once in awhile.
How-To First, attach a rope to the high pulley cable and then face away from the stack. Take hold of each end with a shoulder-width grip near your ears while you stand to one side. Take a step out with one foot and lean forward at the hips. Keep your core tight. Head up and back flat. Hold your arms nearly parallel to the floor with elbows close to the body. Add new twists to your workouts by trying this triceps exercises. Extend your arms in front of you, then squeeze them without letting the weights touch the bottom.
Cue Kanye West, because the kickback doesn’t take this award without an obligatory outburst of disapproval. In a sea of faulty forms — bench presses, squats, and the like are often done poorly, neglecting to keep the upper arm in a good position. This makes it quickly stand out as the world’s most poorly performed exercises, This movement also helps to generate extra momentum as the arm extends back behind you. So it’s not at all surprising that there was some disagreement among our editors about including the dumbbell kickback in this list. However we think that if done correctly, this can be one heck of an effective movement.
Main Areas Targeted Lateral (outer) and long heads
Strengths An independent study commissioned by the American Council on Exercise found that the kickback is one of three standout triceps exercises (along with dips and diamond push-ups) the kickback is one of the most muscular movements you can do, with it registering among the highest levels of muscle activation among university researchers. The triceps always contract at the top of each rep, giving you a powerful contraction that will build your arms.
How-You can comfortably set up a bench with your left hand, left knee and right feet.Keep your arm raised to shoulder level. Extend your arm out to its full extension backwards. you should keep the peak contraction for a moment before going down slowly. Dumbbells track parallel to the floor, so if your arm hits the floor at any point you’re probably doing it wrong.
This top-10 rundown has admittedly been heavy on machine-based triceps exercises, and that’s because we can get behind the many benefits of machines. We’ve touched on some of those already. They have limitations, but they are a go-to for many people looking to build their triceps and maintain balance in their training routine. They are relatively easy to do, with great results. Just watch the mirror as you move into a fully flexed position and you’ll see exactly what we mean.
Main Area Targeted Lateral head
Strengths Speaking of great features, the pressdown also has a neat one that allows you to use it with other exercises. You can drop sets by just changing the position of the pin.
How-To hold the bar with a palms-down grip while pushing your elbows to the side and leaning forward slightly. Keep your knees soft as you bring your forearms parallel to the ground. To do this exercise, you’ll need a barbell with weights on it and a good spotter. With your hands gripping the bar fully extended and elbows locked, flex your triceps to press the weight toward your thighs until they’re fully bent. Hold at peak contraction for a beat before releasing back to start position so the weight doesn’t touch down between reps.
YYou can also make use of grips and attachments, which offer a better feel or aim to muscular emphasis. For example, if you suffer from wrist pain, take hold of a V-grip or rope attachment. You can visit your local library for more information on other grips/attachments.
Overhead Dumbbell Triceps Extension
There are two versions of the overhead extension: one-handed and two-handed. Both have their benefits; try them both out and see which feels better for you! Notably, the long head of the triceps. Some people prefer the one-hand overhead extensions. They explain that a stronger triceps muscle cannot compensate for a weaker one, and this leads to more balanced development in the long run. The truth is that both one- and two-arm variations are good to use in your routine.
Main Area Targeted Long head
Strengths The overhead dumbbell extension is a motion that activates the muscles in the middle of your back. . . you’re not using any equipment or angles. It’s just one simple action. Stretching this muscle in an overhead position makes it stronger because of the stretch-shortening cycle.
How-Don’t sit back on a bench when you’re lifting weights! Start from the seated position with your feet firmly on the floor. Remove one dumbbell from the rack and keep your chest high & head back. With a straight back, tight core, and strong arms, bring the weight down to your neck by bending at your elbows. Hold this position for a second before bringing it back up. Extend at the bottom, then push it up for a brief count. Tuck in your elbows and keep them touching your hips or core as you do so.
If you want to really push your muscles and get better results, then unilateral exercises are the way to go. Studies have shown that when people work unilaterally, their muscles produce up to 20% more force than if they were worked bilaterally.
Lying Triceps Extension
This exercise is otherwise known as a French press, but don’t let that fool you—it’s always ready to fight. It’s a heavy-duty, mettle-testing move that can serve as an anchor leading off any triceps workout. It can be performed using a barbell, an EZ-bar, or dumbbells. All three exercises have different muscle fiber recruitment patterns for the triceps, but maintain focus on the lateral head with secondary emphasis on the long head.
Main Area Targeted Lateral head
Strengths This workout is both demanding and effective. That is, you can handle a lot of weight, but it also has long range motion which requires an incredible amount of concentration to do properly.
How-To Lie face-up with your feet flat on the floor so that you are stable and have a partner hand you a straight or EZ-bar in an overhand grip. With your arms extended, hold the bar just above you at a 45-degree angle back toward your spotter. (This puts constant tension on the triceps in the elbows-straight position versus holding the bar parallel to the floor.) Slowly lower the bar to your forehead without lifting the weights up. Then, stop for a moment when your elbows reach a 90-degree angle before returning back to the starting position. Keep your elbows in, next to your stomach throughout the drill; don’t let them stick out.
The skull crusher is a move that we do with the bench and it’s closely related to a regular bench press when you hold your upper arms parallel to the ground. This increases the contribution of our triceps, which comes from both the medial and lateral heads. Now we’ll take it up one notch by adding more weight to the barbell.
Weighted Triceps Dip
The parallel-bar dip is a great triceps exercises for newcomers, but lifters may find it too easy to use. It has the downside that you can’t increase the resistance, but you could try using resistance bands instead. One of the most challenging types of dips are weighted dips where you strap yourself with weight plates or wear an additional weight to increase the difficulty. However, if you don’t have parallel bars, another difficult variation is bench dips by placing your hands along one edge and jumping up to lower yourself down. If you place your feet on a bench set in line with the ground (If you place your feet on a bench set parallel to the first), You can also have a partner place weight on your lap for an added resistance.
Main Areas Targeted Lateral and long heads
Strengths Like its cousins the push-up and pull-up, the dip is an triceps exercises with various benefits, such as chest and shoulder muscle engagement. Keeping a straight back throughout each repetition can help you get more out of it. When you are properly trained and have enough space to, switch to progressively heavier weights for each set for a challenging, alternating workout.
How-To Put your arms on the bars and keep an upright position. Touch the floor with your hands without letting go of the bars. Put one hand on the bar and push against it to make your arm heavier. Use your other arm to help push back up in order to return to the starting position.
Initially, the close-grip push-up was slotted fifth on this list. However, science can’t be denied and the data is compelling. One of the major benefits of the diamond grip push-up stands is the improved tricep stimulation it provides in comparison to the traditional parallel grip, with serious activation in the lateral, long, and medial heads, beating out dips, kickbacks, and pressdowns among others.
Main Areas Targeted Lateral, long, and medial heads
Strengths Research has shown that push-ups are one of the best triceps exercises for people to do regardless of where they are. They’re simple and require little space, but they can also be a good way to test your strength and stamina. A close grip increases your triceps (they do most of the work in this position). While a wider grip mainly focuses on your pecs, a narrower grip focuses on your last. And, back to that ACE study, you mentioned previously, the push-up is shown to be more effective at targeting the lateral and long heads of the tri than dips or kickbacks. As we’ll explain later, push-ups aren’t the only. However, they have been a mainstay in workout routines because they are easy to do and don’t require any equipment.
How-To Position your hands underneath your chest and form a diamond on the ground with your thumbs and index fingers. From a standing position, keep your arms straight by your sides and bend down as if to touch the floor with your palms. Bend only from your elbows and lower yourself as far as you can before swinging back up to the starting position.
To increase intensity, wear a weighted vest. This may also help you to do some plyometrics with close-gaped pushups right after warming up. This will trick your brain into recruiting more muscle fibers during your normal sets, which means more EPOC!
Close-Grip Bench Press
So, it turns out that the 2011 ACE study we just mentioned actually ranks close-grip bench dead last when it comes to triceps activation. We ended up being OK with that because our top ranking is determined by a combination of judging factors. I disagree with the idea that growth is simply a matter of size alone. We need to remember that strength matters, too! There are several stages in the process of muscular growth where pushing your muscles beyond their current capabilities becomes necessary for progress. Because it helps the body to be better prepared for future challenges. No single triceps exercises can stack up to the benefits of a close-grip bench press.
Main Areas Targeted Lateral, long and medial heads
Strengths: Bench Presses, while not as efficient at isolating the muscles you’re working on like a chest fly or pull-up, allow you to use more weight. More weight equals more intensity, and more intensity means there’s a greater chance of adding muscle mass over time.
How-To Lying down on a flat bench, grasp the barbell with a narrow grip. Holding it above your chest with your elbows extended, unrack the bar. To start, lower the bar to your lower chest without bouncing it. When you reach the bottom, stop touching the bar to your body and extend your elbows powerfully to rise it as much as possible.